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Family Time in Salt Lake City

Art and Entertainment for All
Family Time in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is great for families any time of the year, with zoos, parks, museums, galleries, festivals, sporting events, and endless outdoor activities. There's something for every age group, from the smallest tykes looking to rip around to seasoned adults who are just as happy to sit back and watch.
By Cameron Martindell, AFAR Local Expert
Photo by Barbara Schoenfeld
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    Art and Entertainment for All
    Art and Entertainment for All
    The celebrated Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed at the inauguration of five U.S. presidents, 13 World Fairs, countless live events, and some of the largest concert halls in the world. But the ideal place to experience a performance is the Tabernacle at Temple Square. For a different kind of live-music experience, the Depot brings contemporary bands to play in a restored train station. Salt Lake City's historic Capitol Theatre, built in 1913, is Utah's answer to Broadway and located in a lively part of town known for its architectural marvels. The Capitol is home to the Utah Opera, Children’s Dance Theatre, Ballet West, and more, and serves as a great family introduction to the world of high art. More recently, Eccles Theater, which opened in October of 2016, has several venues for shows and entertaining.
    Photo by Barbara Schoenfeld
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    Family-Friendly Museums and Libraries
    Family-Friendly Museums and Libraries
    As Utah’s cultural and historical capital, Salt Lake City is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and monuments. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts rotates 15 exhibitions annually; features important works from local, state, and regional artists; and hosts a series of workshops, discussions, and film programs. The Natural History Museum of Utah displays more than 5,000 fascinating artifacts and pays homage to the state's spectacular archaeological legacy. Kids can experience hands-on learning with a number of paleontological interactive programs at the Children’s Museum of Utah, a 60,000-square-foot emporium of educational fun. The Leonardo Museum explores the intersection of science, technology, and art. And don't forget about SLC's great libraries: Right downtown the flagship public library is worth visiting for more that just books.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Salt Lake
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    Parks and Recreation
    Parks and Recreation
    The greater Salt Lake City area hosts a number of excellent parks primed for family recreation. Not to be missed is the namesake Great Salt Lake, where three state parks, including Antelope Island, provide access to the lake. In the opposite direction is the Wasatch Crest mountain bike trail, which doesn't need to be done all in one shot: Families can pick and choose the sections that suit them best. Beyond the Wasatch lies Jordanelle State Park, a perfect area for lounging or playing in the reservoir. And north of SLC is the quaint town of Ogden, brimming with endless possiblities of its own, from mountains to water fun.
    Photo by Thom Gourley/age fotostock
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    Family-Friendly Festivals
    Family-Friendly Festivals
    Many of Salt Lake City’s festivals and civic events cater to families. The Living Traditions Festival, held in May, is a celebration of traditional ethnic and folk art presented by the SLC Arts Council. Utah Arts Festival is a four-day event held the third weekend in June and draws nearly 100,000 attendees to Library and Washington squares. Culinary masters, performing arts groups, and visual artists are the stars of Utah’s largest outdoor arts fest, an event with plenty to keep everyone in the family occupied. The Days of ’47 Parade and Rodeo, held each July, commemorates the pioneer settlers of Salt Lake Valley with a raucous Western bash and classic cowboy good times. Shine your boots and brush up on your line-dancing skills.
    Photo courtesy of Emily Sargent/Visit Salt Lake